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A friend of mine who used to work at a 'yota dealership told me that the Insight's hybrid technology was an early design by Toyota that was sold to Honda. In other words, according to him, Honda didn't actually develop the system used in the Insight. I can't seem to find any information confirming or debunking this. Anyone have the scoop?

Thanks!

Tom
 

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The pic in the link doesn't suggest to me that it was a design by VW, but rather that it was a design by a third party that VW was considering adopting.
 

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Bosch

It says right in the article: "Developed by Robert Bosch GmbH".

To my knowledge, this is an earlier design VW contemplated on but never got anywhere with.

While we're talking Made in Germany, there is a starter/alternator combination made by Sachs, called DynaStart. It's for 42V vehicles and a very close cousin to the Insights IMA.
 

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1990!

This answers an interesting question in the back of my mind. I have a 1990 Civic, and have wondered if there were really any significant deficiencies in that era's technology to create a car like the Insight. I see there weren't. So another ten years lost for no particularly good reason.

Derek
 

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Foxpaw said:
The pic in the link doesn't suggest to me that it was a design by VW, but rather that it was a design by a third party that VW was considering adopting.
Unlike Honda, VW DOESN'T have the resources, cash and knowhow to produce such high-tech themselves.
That's why they have to see Bosch, Siemens, ATE and whoever........in the end the "VW" badge is stuck on and everyone thinks how "good" they are.
:roll: :lol: :roll:
 

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No.166 writes
That's why they have to see Bosch, Siemens, ATE and whoever........in the end the "VW" badge is stuck on and everyone thinks how "good" they are.

Actually theres nothing unusual in this as most manufacturers do it where electrical or specialist components are concerned, ie' they are bought in from other suppliers.
The dynastart system was also used in the 1950s on the Isetta as well as several other small cars.It was mounted directly on the crankshaft and started the engine silently and then turned into a generator. Its interesting the VW featured in the link could be driven as a pure electric by disengaging the second clutch where this is not possible on the Insight.
Dgate
 

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"...the Insight's hybrid technology was an early design by Toyota..."

All else aside, given the historical rivalry between the companies, I doubt that Toyota would have sold it to Honda, or that Honda would have bought it if they had offered it for sale.

As to the other similar designs: well, Honda's system is about the most obvious and simple design for a hybrid system, so it's not surprising that others have come up with the same basic format. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to find that Toyota had developed their overly-complex system just so they wouldn't be accused of copying Honda :)
 

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Right on the money James. Honda has over 300 patents on the IMA system, so whoever came up with the original idea of a hybrid design, Honda has made significant new innovations. If you want to see an example of their devious and inventive skulduggery, check out the technology of the new Civic IMA. Achieving 20 percent more power and 5 percent better mileage form the IMA system shows that Honda is not about to become another Synergy clone. The keynote of Honda's design philosophy is THE ENGINE! Ultimately they may have to cede to the plug in hybrid concept, but not until they have squeezed ever last percent of efficiency out of the ICE. :D By then Toyota?s original patents will be near to expiring. I suspect that is why a lot of other manufacturers are waiting to get in to hybrids.

Yes, the Insight could have been designed ten or twenty years ago, but back then computers and NmH batteries were a lot more expensive. The same is true currently of Ultracaps, Nanocaps Lithium batteries, and fuel cells.
 

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"Ultimately they may have to cede to the plug in hybrid concept..."

I wouldn't put it quite that way. It's rather that the plug-in hybrid doesn't make a lot of practical sense, at least until the cost & weight of battery storage comes down more.

Even then, unless your power grid has a high percentage of solar, geothermal, & nuclear generation, you're not gaining a whole lot. It's just moving the emissions from the tailpipe to the coal-burning power plant, you know? So instead of all the city folks having to breathe their own exhaust, they pipe it out to me :-(
 

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No. 166 said:
Unlike Honda, VW DOESN'T have the resources, cash and knowhow to produce such high-tech themselves.
It's not well known, but the world's first plug-in hybrid (yes, plug in hybrid and a diesel-hybrid at that too!) was made and produced by VW/Audi. It was called the Audi Duo and had the following features:

7.4 kWh of electrical energy storage (8 times more than Insight), which was sufficient for ~25 miles of all-electric range.

35 kW (48 hp) electric motor.

66 kW (90 hp) diesel engine.

138 hp combined output.

And all of this was back in 1989! :shock:

Great technology, but at $34,000 it was a bit too expensive and nobody wanted it! :roll:
 

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Question about plug-in hybrid concept

Suppose you had a plug-in hybrid car. You plug it in at home, then drive it around the city like an electric car. If the SOC gets too low, the gas engine starts and charges it up, just like the Prius does now. You might have a range of, say, 50 miles, and arrange it so that the SOC is close to zero when you finally return home.

But then suppose you want to go on a long trip. In that case you want the SOC to be maintained as high as possible, so that you can get up hills and accelerate onto the highway. That's just the opposite of the city scenario.

Question: How does the car know whether to run the SOC down to zero versus keep it up high? Do you have to manually select between "city" and "highway" driving?
 

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I think your friend at the Toyota Dealership was misrepresenting some information. Honda developed their own hybrid technology, they pulled engineers off of the racing development to develop their EV+ and then the IMA system in the Insight if I recall correctly.

It's largely rumored that Ford's hybrid technology is leased from Toyota, but not true. They actually have old patents of ideas for using an engine with a generator and a planetary gear set which is older than any Toyota patents. The technology just ended up being so close in many ways they reached mutual agreements where Ford would pay no license fee's to Toyota and Toyota is allowed to use some of Ford's Catylitic converter technology. This information comes out of the June issue of AutoInc's special Hybrid issue.

So where's the truth in any licensed Toytoa Hybrid stuff? Nissan is supposed to be building an Ultima hybrid soon and they've built it with toyotas stuff. For them it makes sense too because it's cheaper to license their technology rather than developing their own from scratch. Also, there is some possibility Porsche is in need of raising their CAFE so they've considered adding a Cayane hybrid to their lineup.
 
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Hi Rick:

___Excellent and informative post as usual! IIRC, Ford’s and Toyota’s patent exchange had to mainly due with Diesel CAT’s and emission reduction technology. Did the article go into any more detail? I believe Ford may have lost out because they own some truly world class Diesel Emissions tech and they use some of that HW in Europe to the tune of hundreds of thousands of diesel equipped automobiles if not millions. The Escape HEV will be sold to the tune of maybe 20K year over year.

___James, even if Lance was hamstrung with training wheels, he would still kick all of our respective @$$’es :D

___In terms of Toyota’s HSD, I was not a huge fan until recently given it has some very unique capabilities that the Insight may never see even if its production is continued beyond this year. The new Civic IMA has its own set of unique design ideas as well and I cannot wait for it to arrive but why did Honda not clutch that IMA setup for a pure EV mode without spinning over the ICE? Honda has the best clutch engineers in the world bar none and yet they chose to spin over the ICE when it is not needed? It just doesn’t make sense to me is all …

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:1qzqxquh][email protected][/email:1qzqxquh]
 

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I think the answer to the question about why Honda doesn't have a pure electric mode is that there's no point to it. It makes the system much more complicated and doesn't improve the mileage much...
 

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sorry james..

sorry james...

that is one of the most common yet incorrect statements about plug in electric cars....

Yes you will move some pollution to a power plant... but none of the Gasoline is solar.. wind .. or hydro ... some of the electric is...

even putting those asside all together... a coal burning power plant will produce less pollution to produce the power to drive the electric car than a ICE ever will hope to get to... If I remember correctly i think it is someing like the pollution from even the dirtier power plants useing fosel fuels will produce so little pollution your car would have to get over 100 MPG all the time in order to even break even with the dirtier power plants.

it is just crazy to think that the small little engines we have in cars will be anywhere near as efficient as a huge facility building the size of any power plant... plus power plants are under far tighter controls than cars are....

if you want I know I can dig up some studies for if you like.... but in a nut shell ... power plants produce less pollution than cars do even when they are producing the power to drive an electric car.... the plug in hybrid... would just allow you to move more of that pollution to a more effiecient power generating facility than your car is... and it will be a nice steping stone to move people closer to PURE EV !!!! :)

Also don't forget that to move a car with Electricity will cost you maybe $8 for 200 Miles worth of electric only pure EV travel.... ever look at your electric bill... you aren't talking about allot of electricity here.... most electric cars get about 4 or 5 miles per KWH of electricity .. look at what your electric company charges you per KWH and figure how many miles you drive a month.... also remember a 100 Watt light bulb on for 10 hours is 1 KWH .

EV's are cleaner.. even when the electricty is produced via fosel fuels... and it is easier to build new power plants than to convince people to buy new cars that are actually good for the environment.

my 2 bits.
 
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